Equal Opportunity Centre
Equal Opportunity Centre
Introduction:
India is a country of diversity.  It is a hub of different religions,   castes   and   cultures.   However,   the   Indian society is characterized by a highly entrenched system of social   stratification.  It  is  these   social  inequalities  that  created  the  barriers  of  denial  of  access  to  materials,  cultural  and  educational  resources  to  the  disadvantaged  groups of society. These disadvantaged groups are SCs, STs, women, OBC (non-creamy layer), minorities and physically   challenged   persons.   It   is   clear   from   the demographic factors that a large section of population of our country is still disadvantaged and marginalized. Rigid compartmentalized caste system forced SCs to be socially deprived to render services without any claim on returns.  The deprivation of dignity, identity and rights resulted in their dehumanization and humiliation. The toils  and  tears  of  STs  were  not  very  different  from  those  of SCs.  The STs were isolated, neglected and exploited. Both   SCs   and   STs   continue   to   suffer   from   social disabilities even today. Women, victims of the past traditions and customs of the Indian   society,   were   considered   to   be   unequal   and inferior.   Even today women are being oppressed.  Since gender   disparity   is   known   to   lead   to   serious   social imbalance, it is essential to neutralize these distortions of the past. The minorities including Muslims,    Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists and others collectively constitute about 19% of the Indian population. The recent report of the Prime Minister’s High Level Committee on the social, economic and educational status of the Muslim community of India has clearly indicated that the Muslim community exhibits deficits and deprivation in practically all dimensions of development. The same may be true with some   variation   in   case   of   the   other   minorities.  The physically   challenged   persons   deserve   due   place and attention in the demographic setup of the nation.  To ensure   the   same,   the   Parliament   has   passed   the Act called    the    Person    with    Disabilities    (Equal opportunities, Protection of Right and Full Participation) Act 1995. On achieving independence, the nation took a conscious decision to undo the   social and historic wrongs.  For eradication of social disparities, various provisions were made in the Indian Constitution. Our Constitution enshrined democratization as one of the main objectives of education and anticipated the democratic expansion of education to serve social and economic upward mobility. The   Indian   education   system   seems   to   have   been oriented only to meet the requirement of one-third of the population,   ignoring   the   interest   of   the   rest.   Indeed, historically education was confined to certain sections of the   society   and   did   exclude   large   sections   of   the population, making it highly undemocratic in   matters of access. This exclusion   in education created ever- expanding disparities that   adversely    affected   the disadvantaged groups of the society. Since higher education is a tool for social and economic equality, the UGC has been addressing national concerns of access, equality, while ensuring the standard of quality and relevance of education by implementing policies of the Government of India and promoting several schemes and   programmes   for   the   disadvantaged   groups   that would help in eliminating social disparities. India is potentially rich in human resources.  To harvest the   same   and   make   the   present   education   system inclusive, the degree of democratization of higher education has to be increased to a large extent. Further colleges should become more responsive to the needs and   constraints   of   the   disadvantaged   social   groups. Therefore,   the   UGC   has   planned   to   establish   Equal Opportunity Centres in colleges.

Aims and Objectives
To  oversee  the  effective  implementation  of  policies  and  programmes for disadvantaged groups, to provide  guidance   and   counselling   with   respect   to   academic, financial,  social  and  other  matters  and  to  enhance  the diversity within the campus.

Functions
1.To ensure equity and equal opportunity to the community at large in the college and bring about social inclusion.
2.To   enhance   the   diversity   among   the   students, teaching and non-teaching staff population and at the same time eliminate the perception of discrimination.
3.To   create   a   socially   congenial   atmosphere   for academic interaction and for the growth of healthy interpersonal   relationships   among   the   students coming from various social backgrounds.
4.To make efforts to sensitize the academic community regarding the problems associated with social   exclusion   as   well   as   aspirations   of   the marginalized communities.
5.To help individuals or a group of students belonging to the disadvantaged section of society to contain the problems related to discrimination.
6.To look into the grievances of the weaker section of society and suggest amicable solution to their problems.
7.To disseminate the information related to schemes and programmes for the welfare of the  socially weaker section as well as notifications/memoranda,  office  orders  of  the  Government,  or other  related  agencies/organizations  issued  from time to time.
8.To prepare barrier free formalities/procedures for admission/ registration of students belonging to the disadvantaged groups of society.
9.To establish coordination with the Government and other agencies/organizations to mobilize academic and financial resources to provide assistance to students of the disadvantaged groups.
10.To   organize   periodic   meetings   to   monitor   the progress of different schemes.
11.To   adopt   measures   to   ensure   due   share   of utilization by SC/ST in admissions, recruitments (teaching and non-teaching posts) and to improve their performances.
12.To sensitize the college on the problems of SC/ST and other disadvantaged groups.

The Equal Opportunity Centre, Dhemaji Commerce College
The Equal Opportunity Cell was established by the Dhemaji Commerce College on 29th October, 2012 to address the issues related to the people belong to socio-economically backward regions and the physically challenged on a continual basis. Mr. Bibhuti Borgohain,Associate Professor in History was appointed as its co-ordinator and a committee constituted with eminent personalities of the college as its members.
DHEMAJI COMMERCE COLLEGE
Affiliated to Dibrugarh University & Accredited by NAAC
Estd. : 1982
Dhemaji, Assam, India
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